The freshwater whitefish are fishes of the subfamily Coregoninae, which contains whitefishes (both freshwater and anadromous) and ciscoes, and is one of three subfamilies in the salmon family Salmonidae. Apart from the subfamily Coregoninae, the family Salmonidae includes the salmon, trout, and char species of the subfamily Salmoninae, and grayling species of the subfamily Thymallinae. Freshwater whitefish are distributed mainly in relatively cool waters throughout the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
The Coregoninae subfamily consists of three nominal genera:
CoregonusLinnaeus, 1758 – whitefishes and ciscoes, which according to some authors number more than 60 species. There are differing opinions on the classification of some species within the genus and the overall number of species. Some species in Arctic regions of Asia and North America forage in marine waters.
Prosopium Jordan, 1878 – round whitefishes, which includes six species, three of which occur only in a single lake.
StenodusRichardson, 1836 – inconnus, which includes two species, sometimes considered a single species with two subspecies. Phylogenetically, Stenodus is not distinct from Coregonus.